The first place we stopped, the Vancouver SPCA, contained the first cat we saw that day. And the last cat we would need to see. There was an orange tabby with a white chest and socks. Some other people were holding him, so we walked around the room looking at others. When "Cheetoh" became free, we sauntered over and sat in front of his cage. He hid behind a box for a little while, then I reached in to pet him. INSTANTLY after being pet he was on my lap. We were done. That was it. We filled out paper work, and then continued on our planned course of shelters to visit...just to be fair.
I think we spent a combined 10 minutes in the 5 other shelters. No one else could compare. We were after Cheetoh. The only thing standing in our way was my landlord's written permission to have a cat. I don't know if you've figured this out about me yet, but when I want something, I'm either going to get it, or you're going to wish that you just gave it to me. About three emails, two calls to him, one call to the SPCA, and 12 hours later, Cheetoh was ours.
While we stood at the register waiting for him, someone else called trying to adopt Cheetoh. I'm sure there were many others. I wasn't about to wait around letting someone else take my perfect cat. A year ago today, Cheetoh became Chester, was placed in a carrier, and all three of our lives would never be the same.
You know the basic story that follows. Except for how quickly we were enraptured by him. Maybe a day after we adopted him, Gyan and I had already agreed that we had to stay together for the rest of Chester's life, cause neither of us were giving up custody. (Little did we know that Chester and his struggles would be a catalyst to making us closer than ever.) Had we found out about his condition only days after adopting him, I don't know that our plan of action would have been any different. He was ours to stay from the moment we saw him.
Now, January 30, 2013, Chester has a new diaphragm, healthy lungs and heart, two less toes, two extremely devoted parents, 2 extra kilograms of weight, and all the energy and killing instinct that a kitten should posses. There were plenty of times that I didn't know if we would, but we made it!. He fought through 3(?) years of who knows what kind of suffering and one year of well documented suffering, and has officially made it to the easy life.
Happy Adoption Day (Since we will never know your birthday), my baby, I can't think of anyone who deserves this more. Thank you for everything you've been to us this year, and plan on celebrating this for many many years to come.
PS. We could never have come this far without so many people. The surgeons, the students, the vet techs, the donor cat who gave Chester blood transfusions, our families and friends, and of course all of you. We will never forget that and we will never stop being grateful.